Today, Panama has an estimated population of around 4 million people, about 400,000 of them living in the capital and largest city Panama City, which is located at the Pacific entrance to the Canal. Around 66 percent of the country's inhabitants live in urban areas and cities. Population growth is decreasing somewhat, likely due to a slight reduction of the fertility rate.
The Panama Canal and its services and operations are the main source of GDP for Panama. The services sector contributes almost three quarters to Panama's GDP and employs a similar share of the workforce. GDP per capita in Panama is at around 14,000 U.S. dollars, but not all Panamanians benefit equally, and inequality and poverty remain a problem.
Panama is in the process of widening and deepening the Canal to allow for additional thoroughfare, which is expected to double the current Canal's capacity and subsequently increase GDP. This investment as well as other public infrastructure projects, such as the completion of a metro in Panama city, have increased government debt but at the same time added economic growth . Besides the Canal, bananas are the only other major cash crop. Ties with the United States continue to be strong, as the United States is also Panama's most important import and export trade partner.
Even though the Panama Canal supports and contributes a great deal to the economy, as mentioned previously, inequality is still a major problem in the country, as is corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering. These problems will need to be addressed, especially as tourism to Panama increases.